Sales 

Could Auto Trader data indicate a post-lockdown car sales boom?

Auto Trader has reported a 1.6 million uplift in the volumes of visitors to its online car marketing platform and record consumer confidence amid KPIs which could indicate another post-lockdown sales boom.

Signs that pent-up demand among car buyers was being seen on the platform came in the form of a 3% rise in monthly visitors, to 53.6 million, and the results of a customer survey which showed consumers’ confidence in being able to afford their next car was at its highest ever level – 8.68-out-of-10.

In total, 45% of those surveyed by Auto Trader said they were more confident than they were a year ago, up from 43% in December, and 45% felt about the same.

Auto Trader chief executive, Nathan Coe, said: “Whilst we appreciate not every retailer is seeing the same positive levels of activity, it’s very reassuring to see and to hear anecdotally from many of

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Used car sales fall 15% in 2020 in pandemic

The UK used car market declined in 2020, down -14.9% according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A total of 6,752,959 used car transactions took place, 1,182,146 fewer than in 2019.

This made 2020 the lowest performing year since 2012 as lockdown measures to tackle the pandemic hit sales.

With lockdown in place, sales declined -18.3% in November. December saw a sales decline of -4.2%.

Combined Q4 transactions fell by -6.2% to 1,693,138, rounding off a tough year for the sector.

Alternatively, fuelled vehicles (AFVs) bucked the trend, however, with 144,225 of these models sold during the year, an increase of 5.2%, with their market share rising to 2.1%.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) saw their transactions increase by 29.7% to 19,184 units, but still only a fraction of all activity at 0.3%.

The market for hybrids (HEVs) also rose, by 4.7%,

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Coronavirus is a car sales roller coaster with an uncertain end

With no handy playbook, no precedents for the toxic economic fallout from COVID-19, the only thing predictable about auto sales is now unpredictability. And with viral spikes forcing fresh public restrictions — including in California, the nation’s largest auto market — any automotive recovery seems likely to follow the same topsy-turvy course.

Analysts say the worst may be over. But they can’t be sure. The pandemic drove auto sales to a sickly, 30-year-low in April, as Americans bought just 633,000 cars — down 53% from April 2019, and worse than any sales month of the Great Recession in 2009. 

June brought a few rays of hope. But June’s annualized selling rate of 12.9 million units was still a stark reminder of the booming 17.2-million pace of the previous June. Second-quarter sales at General Motors, Ford and FiatChrysler fell 30% or more. Tesla’s mere 5% drop —and a stock

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